In a span of only twelve months, two school districts in the state of Lousianna have taken major leaps toward becoming environments in which both students and school officials can feel safe and secure. Fidelis NA LLC, a startup company that specializes in risk mitigation, has played a major role in these improvements by providing a sense of security and safety in these times of frightening uncertainty.
To maintain a balance of education, safety, and security, Iberia Parish School District held three situational awareness training sessions on March 7 and March 8 at Westgate High School’s auditorium. Fidelis NA, LLC delivered the private training sessions empowering 250 of Iberia Parish School District administrators, teachers and staff on a comprehensive awareness and preparedness curriculum. The curriculum included strategies to ensure the team has the tools to remain proactive in the face of unknown risks plus equipped the staff with strategies to be reactive.
I am really glad that I interned with Fidelis in July and August. I am really glad that my supervisor is Luis, who is open-minded, easygoing and encouraging. I learned a great deal from him, and also from Fidelis. Fidelis NA, LLC was newly founded but has expanded rapidly. Fidelis is surely not comparable to big companies like Facebook and Amazon. But you can learn things that you can never learn from big companies. You are able to get help directly from leadership such as the CEO directly. You are able to discuss your ideas to the CEO directly. You are also able to develop a personal relationship directly with CEO. Think as a founder and act as a founder is one requirement for Fidelis' internship, which means you are able to experiment with solutions to problems. There is not an absolute right and wrong answer in Fidelis. You have the freedom to experiment and choose your best way to solve the problem. You can see your impacts as long as you make an effort.
As a business owner, I am thrilled to announce that Fidelis is committed to helping bridge the gap in the Veteran hiring process. I have had many conversations with Veterans that continue to face challenges in the hiring process for multiple reasons: a) their resumes may not be as “polished” as their competition, b) networking is not their strength, c) after applying to a company that “hires Veterans,” the applicant never hears back!
As a Veteran and business owner, I know how challenging it is to meet employers that value the leadership capabilities and unique skills learned in the armed forces. I also know it may feel like an uphill battle to develop a resume and a cover letter specifically to the company and job description. It’s time consuming!
In transitioning from crisis response to crisis management, an organization should commit to five critical proactive measures: (1) establish what defines a “crisis”, (2) consider crisis in the context of the organization’s priorities, (3) anticipate potential crisis conditions through analysis, (4) establish decision points for potential crisis conditions, and (5) arrange for planned intervals during which crisis management leaders and teams meet to assess the current threat environment and potential crisis conditions.
Evangeline Bank & Trust Co. is one of the businesses who previously attended and has since incorporated those lessons into their lives. After months of tragic shootings, they say prior knowledge of active shooters is becoming irrelevant. "It's basically changing pretty much every day," says Security & Administrative Assistant LaChanda Alfred.
A common theme developed by the government and security companies to surviving an active shooter incident has been to create an easily articulated recommendation and strategy. “Run, Hide, Fight” which is the U.S. government’s “guidance” to surviving an active shooter incident is the first one that comes to mind. Search the web, and you’ll see numerous entities either training the Run-Hide-Fight methodology or creating their own acronyms that are highly marketable and resonate with people. But, are they effective?
In the early morning hours of 22 April 2018, a semi-nude gunman arrived at a Waffle House in South Nashville, TN, killing two people outside, then proceeding into the restaurant and killing two more before being taken down by an unarmed civilian. While this type of hostile act can happen anywhere and to anyone, there are strategies that individuals can apply daily to mitigate the risk to their personal safety in restaurants and other public venues.
Every organization, whether a school or business, should have an emergency action plan in place. The plan should be thorough, but not complicated, simple but sufficient. It should address any and all emergencies relevant to schools and your geographical locations. Active shooter, fire, bomb threat, natural disasters, Chem-Bio (white powder), and more should all be addressed.
“To evade you want to run the opposite direction of a sound of gunfire,” says Perron. Then you obstruct by making your way to a safe room. “First ring of security is you lock the door. ..lock the door…second ring barricade with any and everything you have available,” says Perron. Just as important is pre-recognition.